The NBA star first invested $1 million in the brand alongside his business partners in 2012.
LeBron James has proved that taking his talents to Blaze Pizza was a good idea. According to an ESPN article, the NBA star and his business partners have turned a $1 million investment into one that’s worth $25 million. And when that’s combined with James’ endorsement payments, his stake in Blaze is worth $35 million.
The news comes after Blaze Pizza sold an undisclosed percentage of the company to the private equity firm Brentwood Associates. That move earned the brand at a valuation of around $250 million.
“LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in and putting real money into them,” said James’ business partner Maverick Carter. “We’re not talking putting in $15,00 or $20,000. It’s real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring, as well as bringing LeBron’s name and likeness to the product.”
James first invested in Blaze Pizza back in 2012, just one year after Rick and Elise Wetzel dreamed up the idea for the make-your-own pizza concept. The move immediately gave Blaze a sense of star power that has been fueling its development efforts ever since.
Wetzel said, “When he invested in us so early on, he established us as the market leader. He put a star on our forehead as a company that was legitimate.” Wetzel’s wife, Elise, continued, “Every time LeBron tweets about Blaze, it’s like a sonic boom. It jump-starts the conversation with tens of millions of people in the U.S. and around the world and leads to a genuine interaction between people who know and love the brand and people who haven’t heard of us.”
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